la roque gageac

Dordogne Wildlife Diary

  • Emperors

    In Dordogne we have two species of Purple Emperor. By far the most common is the Lesser Purple Emperor which tends to be smaller, a brighter purple and the underside is less contrasty with a light brown wash especially on the hindwing. In SW France the variety "clytie" is common and this has an orange fringe to the upper wings and the white lines are also slightly orange. It is found almost anywhere in the countryside, especially near the emperor caterpillar foodplants, poplars and willows, in the valleys.

    By contrast the Purple Emperor is scarce and found in scattered colonies in the larger forested areas of Dordogne. It is a more northery species. They seem to stay higher in the trees unless tempted down by tree sap, rotten fruit or animal scats on the ground. My French friend and I have been out surveying for Woodland Brown recently and he captured these beautiful images of a freshly emerged female in the Forêt de Barade near Périgueux last week.


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Welcome to my Dordogne Wildlife Diary

In it you will find regular wildlife sightings in the département of Dordogne, notably of birds and butterflies in southern Dordogne where I live. In adddition there will be occasional references to neighbouring départements such as Lot et Garonne, Gironde, the Lot and places further afield. Check out the Faune-Aquitaine website for the latest wildlife sightings in Dordogne and Aquitaine.

Where possible I will add photographs to illustrate the entry. Many thanks to Margaret Mills (family photo) and Denis Cauchoix (birdwatcher photo).

I hope that you enjoy my diary and look forward to your comments.

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